Tools We Can’t Live Without: Google Reader

This post is a part of April’s Healthy Living Tuesdays series, focused on your number 1 healthy living tools that you can’t live without.  Is it your gym membership? Your running shoes?  Your food processor?  Whatever it is, we want to hear about it!  We’re full up for April already, but we’d LOVE to hear your favorite healthy living tools in the comments section!

For more information about Healthy Living Tuesdays, check out our original post!

This post comes from Clare of Fitting It All In!

A few weeks ago Healthy Living Blogs put out a request for readers to share the fitness tool they can’t live without. I got to thinking – a treadmill for winter running? My Garmin that tracks my pace and mileage? My ipod for endless hours of exercise entertainment? These all seemed too straightforward, too obvious.

Suddenly it hit me.

The fitness tool I use the most is my Google Reader!

As I think back over my journey to health, I realize that the discovery of health and fitness blogs played a huge role. I began reading KathEats, Healthy Tipping Point, and CarrotsnCake while I was struggling to recover from an eating disorder. Eventually I got hooked on many many more, but all of the bloggers had one thing in common: they were real women, dealing with the same realities that I deal with, and they ate plenty of food.

Each day when I had internal battles over whether the granola bar I was having for breakfast would make me fat, I would read about these women that ate big meals of carbs, fats, and proteins. They were vibrant, strong and healthy. Reading blogs provided the encouragement I needed to give my body the calories and nutrients it needed.

But soon I fell of the bandwagon. Sure I had the courage to get to a healthy weight, but what I didn’t have was the relationship with food to keep me there. I ended up gaining too much weight and was unhappy with myself. At this point I began eating “diet foods” because they were low calorie and “safe”. I was eating as little as possible during the day, which led to binging at night. My exercise on the elliptical had limited payoff and I found
myself searching for answers again.

Cue Google Reader. I went right back to those blogs that had brought me back to health once before. This time they taught me to eat REAL FOOD instead of diet foods. They taught me to create a meal that included multiple food groups and provided satiety. Through experimenting with different meals and recipes from food blogs, I developed a healthy relationship with food that didn’t involve fear or limitations.

One of the other major things blogs have taught me is to challenge my body. I know there is a stigma towards blogs making readers feel like they have to be a runner, but for me the blogs gave me the motivation to at least TRY. I had never run before, but since I knew I could be in much better shape I finally got out there one day and took off. Now I have run two half marathons and am training to run my first full marathon on April 10th. My fitness level has drastically improved.

Everyday as I scramble to get the number on my Google Reader to lower, I learn new exercise and nutrition tips. I find a new ways to work out through Meghann‘s IzonOrlando series, I get weight lifting plans from The Fitnessista, and I drool over creative breakfast recipes from Ashley. Blogs keep my health on its figurative “toes”. Because of my Google Reader, I switch up my meals and try new things; I make sure to vary my workouts and stay strong; and I get to make blends with some fantastic ladies (and gents) at the same time.

To me there is no better fitness tool out there!

Thanks, Clare!

What’s the fitness tool you can’t live without?

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